Which VPN Protocol is Best for Gaming? Your Gaming Guide!
- July 12, 2023
- 10 minutes Read
- Gaming VPN
If you’re an avid gamer and love playing online games, choosing the right VPN protocol can enhance your gaming performance. You can significantly improve your gaming performance by choosing the right protocol.
The top VPN Protocols for a no-lag and robust gaming experience include:
Wireguard protocol provides the best speed, security, and reliability for gaming. The lightweight and low latency of IKEv2 also makes it a good choice for online gaming. Furthermore, the L2TP/IPSec protocol also offers less ping and a decent gaming experience. IPSec ensures network security, while L2TP tunnels data.
So, let’s discuss in detail which VPN protocol is best for gaming. We’ll discuss all VPN protocols in detail, including their benefits and drawbacks.
Top VPN Protocols for Gaming: Quick Overview
Next, let’s take a closer look at all the VPN protocols you should be using while gaming. These protocols all offer low latency, good stability, and high security.
|Speed & Latency||Up to 1000 Mbps*||Up to 600 Mbps*||Up to 100 Mbps*|
|Connection Stability||More Stable||Extremely Stable||Stable|
|Security & Encryption||Supports ChaCha20, Curve25519, BLAKE2s, SipHash24, and HKDF, Public-key cryptography||AES-256 bit, ChaCha20, Camellia, High-security cyphers, Diffie-Hellman key exchange.||Supports AES, 3DES, and Blowfish encryption methods.|
DDOS protection, Diffie-Hellman key exchange, Perfect forward secrecy, RSA encryption.
|Authentication||Noise protocol framework to establish a ephemeral symmetric encryption also known as “handshake” method.||Digital certificates, PSK (pre-share), and RSA signature (rsa-sig).||PPP, in PAP (Password Authentication Protocol) and CHAP (Challenge Handshake Authentication Protocol), and uses NCP (Network Control Protocol)|
|Device Compatibility||Cross-platform (Windows, macOS, BSD, iOS, Android)||Cross-platform (Windows, macOS, BSD, iOS, Android)||Cross-platform (Windows, macOS, BSD, iOS, Android)|
|Can Bypass Geo-block?||No||Yes, with SmartDNS||No|
The Wiregard VPN protocol is an all-arounder when it comes to VPN protocols. It offers good stability, excellent security, and low latency, making it perfect for online gaming.
This open-source protocol is a relatively new one that is simple and easy to use, faster than IPSec, and more efficient than OpenVPN. It securely encapsulates IP packets over UDP and is designed as a general-purpose VPN for running on embedded interfaces and supercomputers alike, fit for many different circumstances.
Moreover, WireGuard is lightweight, which helps reduce latency and enhances gaming performance. WireGuard provides quicker connection/reconnection times for mobile devices and better battery life, according to various tests.
As a whole, WireGuard is an excellent VPN protocol for gaming that offers fast speeds, strong security, and efficient performance.
Summary: The WireGuard VPN protocol offers good stability, high security, and low latency. It is lightweight and provides faster connectivity and reconnection time for mobile devices.
Pros & Cons of Wireguard Protocol
|1. Faster than IPSec and OpenVPN protocol.|
2. Extremely secure, and comes with AES-356 bit encryption.
3. Easy to configure and use.
4. Only 3800 line of code makes it easier to audit.
5. Cross-platform functionality.
|1. WireGuard is not a finished project. It’s still in development and experimental. |
2. It requires logging the user data, which violates user privacy.
3. Only supports UDP protocol and also doesn’t support port 443.
4. Prone to packet loss
5. can easily be blocked by network admin or ISP.
IKEv2/IPSec is a VPN protocol that is widely used for gaming due to its fast speeds, stability, and strong security.
It’s a combination of two different protocols, IKEv2 and IPsec. Your device communicates with the VPN server using IKEv2 while IPsec handles data transmission.
IKEv2/IPSec is known for its speed and efficiency and is widely implemented in mobile devices. It uses pre-shared keys that are changed regularly to keep the connection secure and prevent DDoS attacks.
Moreover, IKEv2/IPSec is lightweight, improving performance and reducing latency. However, it may not be compatible with all gaming or streaming devices. Overall, the stability and speed of IKEv2/IPSec make it a great VPN protocol for gaming.
Pros & Cons of IKEv2/IPSec Protocol
|1. Faster connection than L2TP or PPTP VPN connections.|
2. Supports quick re-connections when switching networks or during sudden drops.
3. Comes with 256-bit AES ad authentication.
4. Consumes less bandwidth and provides low latency.
5. Supports significant platforms: Windows, MacOS, Linux, etc.
|1. Used UDP port 500, which can be blocked by firewalls and ISPs.|
2. IKEv2 is not open source.
3. Doesn’t come with extensive device support.
4. Needs manual configuration.
L2TP stands for Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol, which is a VPN protocol that secures your internet connection and protects your privacy. It creates a secure tunnel between your device and the VPN server, encrypting your data.
L2TP establishes the tunnel, while IPSec adds an extra layer of encryption to keep your data safe. You can access restricted content by using L2TP/IPSec and prevent others from spying on your online activities.
It also hides your real IP address and replaces it with the VPN server’s IP. Setting up L2TP/IPSec is easy, as most operating systems support it. Just follow the instructions provided by your VPN service provider.
Once configured, you can connect to the VPN server and enjoy a private and secure internet connection. L2TP/IPSec is a beginner-friendly option for improving online security and privacy.
Summary: Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol (L2TP) creates a secure tunnel between your device and the VPN server. It encrypts your data and prevents others from spying on your online activities.
Pros & Cons of L2TP/IPSec Protocol
Now that you know the advantages and disadvantages of all three VPN protocols, you may ask which protocol suite to use. Many people get confused between the TCP and UDP protocols. Let’s find out which one is best for gaming.
1. Supports Network Address Translation-Traversal (NAT-T) for high performance and speed.
2. Prevents hacking attacks like Man in the Middle (MiM) and Daniel of Service (DoS).
3. Very stable and reliable connection.
4. Easy to configure and use.
5. Supports major platforms. (Windows, MacOS, Linux.)
|1. Its speed is not the fastest due to encapsulating data twice.|
2. There’s a chance of security key mismatch due to pre-shared keys.
3. Easily be blocked by NAT firewall and internet service providers.
4. Susceptible to identity theft and malware attacks.
5. Can be cracked by NSA.
TCP or UDP? Which One Is Best for Gaming?
TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) ensures that data packets arrive on time and error-free. It’s suitable for games that require precise and accurate data transmission, such as turn-based strategy games.
However, TCP’s focus on reliability comes at the cost of increased latency, which can result in lag during real-time multiplayer games.
On the other hand, UDP (User Datagram Protocol) is a faster and more efficient protocol that prioritizes speed over reliability. It doesn’t guarantee that all data packets will reach their destination or in the correct order.
UDP is commonly used in fast-paced, real-time games, like first-person shooters and online multiplayer games, where low latency and quick responsiveness are crucial.
The choice between TCP and UDP for gaming depends on the type of game you’re playing. In many cases, game developers use a combination of TCP and UDP protocols to leverage the strengths of both.
Summary: If you prioritize reliability and accuracy, TCP is a better choice. If low latency and responsiveness are your main concerns, you should use UDP.
How to Choose the Best VPN Protocol While Gaming?
When it comes to choosing the best VPN protocol for gaming you need to create go through the below checklist. You don’t have to worry because I’ve done it for you.
Here are some crucial game-specific features of a VPN/Protocol you should consider:
- Packet Loss: When choosing a VPN protocol for gaming, it’s crucial to consider its impact on packet loss. Opting for a protocol with low packet loss ensures a smoother gaming experience by minimizing data loss and preserving the integrity of in-game actions.
- Low Latency: The best VPN protocol for gaming should prioritize low latency. This reduces the delay between your actions and their response in the game, resulting in quicker and more responsive gameplay.
- Port-forwarding: Gaming often requires specific ports to be open for optimal connectivity. Look for a VPN protocol that supports port-forwarding, enabling you to easily configure and open the necessary ports for seamless online gaming.
- DDoS Protection: Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks can disrupt your gaming experience. Choose a VPN protocol that offers built-in DDoS protection, safeguarding your connection against malicious attacks and ensuring uninterrupted gameplay.
- Geo-restriction: Some games may have geographic restrictions, limiting access to certain regions. To bypass these restrictions and play games from anywhere, select a VPN protocol that offers a wide range of server locations and the ability to easily switch between them.
Compatibility & Easy of Use
Cross-platform device support, user-friendly usage, and ease of configuration are other important things to consider when choosing a VPN protocol.
Some protocols are easier to set up than others. For instance, PPTP is widely known for its simplicity, while SSTP comes integrated with most Microsoft devices. However, protocols like OpenVPN and IKEv2/IPSec may require a more advanced setup.
In terms of compatibility, PPTP is highly compatible as it is built into many devices. L2TP/IPSec is available on Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android. OpenVPN supports multiple platforms such as Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS.
For devices that support it, IKEv2/IPSec offers a fast and secure alternative, especially on mobile devices. Although WireGuard is faster and more efficient, it has some privacy concerns as I’ve discussed earlier.
To conclude, WireGuard is the fastest VPN protocol for gaming. The second choice would be IKEv2/IPSec and lastly L2TP/IPSec for speed with an extra layer of security.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Why Does VPN Make My Game Lag?
Overcrowded servers, ISP throttling, encryption delays, and additional hops through the VPN server can cause game lag when using a VPN. For a smoother gaming experience, optimize server selection, choose a VPN with faster speeds, and choose
Does VPN Decrease FPS?
In some cases, a VPN may decrease FPS, but not always. Reasons for decreased FPS include while gaming using a VPN include:
- Strong encryption causing delay in data transfer
- Increased latency by hopping through VPN servers
- The server is overcrowded and there’s a speed limit.
- Heavy resource consumption while gaming.
Is IKEv2 Faster Than UDP?
Both IKEv2 and UDP are considered fast VPN protocols. IKEv2 is less CPU-intensive than OpenVPN, and UDP prioritizes speed over connection stability. Nevertheless, the speed of these protocols varies depending on the user’s location and network.
The Bottom Line
To wrap things up, the discussion on which vpn protocol is best for gaming ends here. Hopefully, you got your answer; select your preferred VPN protocol according to your gaming needs. One pro tip, always connects to the VPN server nearest to your physical location to reduce latency. Fast-paced action games like Valorant, Warzone, and PUBG. CSGO needs good latency over security for a lag-free gaming experience.